It had to be disappointing as hell for Wilks to not have been hired as the full-time head coach after doing a bang-up job as interim head coach last season. Still, he took the high road and made a very classy post on Twitter:
“The sun rose this morning and by the grace of God so did I,” Wilks wrote. "I’m disappointed but not defeated. Many people aren’t built for this but I know what it means to persevere and see it through.
"It was an honor for me to coach those men in the Carolina Panthers locker room as the interim head coach. Players, coaches and staff, thank you for your hard work and dedication. I took pride in representing Charlotte, a great city that I love so much. Thank you to my family, friends and the community for your overwhelming support.
“I do wish Frank Reich all the best. I will always be a fan of the Carolina Panthers Football Team.”
His lawyers, on the other hand, took a different tone:
“We are shocked and disturbed that after the incredible job Coach Wilks did as the interim coach, including bringing the team back into playoff contention and garnering the support of the players and fans, that he was passed over for the head coach position by David Tepper,” Wigdor said in a statement that was both circulated by email and tweeted. “There is a legitimate race problem in the NFL, and we can assure you that we will have more to say in the coming days.”
On an emotional level, Wilks is the type of guy you want to root for. He got shafted when Arizona fired him after only one year to hire Cliff Kingsbury, and he then did a great job in Carolina when he inherited a mess this year. And, many Carolina players wanted him to be named their full-time head coach. At the same time, there are legitimate reasons for Carolina to hire Reich, and by all accounts Wilks was given a full shot at interviewing. He just wasn’t the final selection in the end.